Lara Gut-Behrami was just too good compared to the other competitors in the Crans Montana Super G event. She is now the second woman to win World Cup Super G races in three different Swiss venues (St.Moritz, Lenzerheide, Crans Montana).
By Daphne Seberich
Lara Gut-Behrami is back to her winning ways after an astonishing performance in Sunday’s Audi FIS World Cup race. The third Super G event of the 2020/2021 season took place in Switzerland on the Crans Montana slope.
There was no way the other athletes could compete with the Swiss’s speed and racing line. After all, Lara is one of the most successful female skier still active in the Super G discipline. This event secured a new record under her belt. Gut-Behrami is the second woman to win World Cup Super G races in three different Swiss venues (St.Moritz, Lenzerheide, Crans Montana).
For the Swiss speed specialist, it was a mixed bag weekend on home soil. She finished a disappointing 16th place in the first Downhill, only to have her comeback in Saturday’s second event to claim second place. Crans Montana is a venue that suits Gut-Behrami as Sunday’s race was her third victory and fourth podium in the last two seasons at the home nation’s resort.
Gut-Behrami raced a flawless line on the bottom half of the course to earn the victory by nearly one second. Austrian Tamara Tippler continued to impress, earning her second runner-up finish 0.96 seconds behind. Italian Federica Brignone rounded out the podium, raking in her second Super-G Top-three finish of the season.
Bib number one racer and current Overall standings leader Petra Vlhova didn’t have the best start to her run. Shortly after the first intermediate, Vlhova missed a gate after a jump and got disqualified from the race.
Michelle Gisin, the second contender for the Big Crystal Globe, was the first athlete to set the benchmark with a time of 1:18.30. Austrian skier Stephanie Venier challenged the Swiss for the lead but lost control of her body after a jump, crashing into the barriers. Fortunately, no major physical injuries were reported from the Austrian ski team.
Gisin’s teammate Wendy Holdener, who placed 3rd in the Crans Montana Super G in 2018, missed a gate and ended her run prematurely.
Right from the get-go, Federica Brignone showed to have great speed and always sealed green intermediates during her run. A 1.65-second lead ahead of Gisin boosted her into provisional first place.
Crans Montana 2017 Super G winner Ilka Stuhec didn’t have what it takes to challenge the leader Federica Brignone but still managed to finish on the podium in third place with a 2.14-second delay.
The first challenger for first place was Swiss skier Corinne Suter. Even though he took many risks and set green intermediates throughout her run, she crossed the finish line with 50 hundredths of a second delay. The time still allowed her to secure the second spot on the podium.
Lara Gut-Behrami, Crans Montana 2020 Super G winner, who is suffering from a back injury, seemed to have an incredible physical shape. A 1.02-second advantage against Brignone granted her the lead of the competition. She was undoubtedly the favorite to win the race.
Third in the Overall standings, Marta Bassino challenged her teammate Brignone for a podium position but missed out on it only by 28 hundredths against Priska Nufer.
Teammate Francesca Marsaglia dethroned the Swiss and secured the third step of the podium. The Italian ski team is the strongest of all of this season, with three athletes placing in the Top-8.
Photo credits: La Stampa, Instagram & El Mundo Deportivo
Crans Montana Downhill back-to-back winner Sofia Goggia took many risks that seemed to pay off until the last jump did her dirty. Losing control over her body made Goggia miss the second-to-last gate of the slope. Her time would have secured her the second place position, but she was disqualified. Elena Curtoni’s fate aligned with Goggia’s, ending her run in the same way as her teammate: With a DNF.
The win also moved Gut-Behrami ahead of teammate Corinne Suter in the Super-G season standings, although there is still much racing left in the year.
Before the World Championships in Cortina kick-off at the start of February, the Women’s World Cup tour still has two stops. First up, a giant slalom at the Kronplatz, followed by a speed weekend in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.